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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I am having trouble in my relationship with my fiancé. We

Customer Question

I am having trouble in my relationship with my fiancé. We have a long distance relationship and I get to see her every couple of weeks. This past summer, I was away for 2.5 months overseas for work. She had an internship over the summer. Upon my return, everything seemed normal until she informed me that she had kissed a manager she had worked with after going out and drinking with him. She explained that it was unintentional and that she quickly stopped it, and both of them admitted it was wrong. I was obviously distraught by this, but eventually I forgave her.
Recently, she has been talking to me less and less. I was suspicious about this so I checked her phone records. She has been talking to the same manager, a lot! I confronted her and she said that they were just friends. She was very defensive. I called this guy with her permission and he explained that they were just friends, he didn’t want to screw up our relationship, and he told me how much she loves me. He said he would back off a little bit. My fiancé has since told me that it was wrong to talk to this guy so much, and that they have only been in touch by email recently.
I was feeling much better after this, but I am still feeling uneasy as she is still very distant from me (Because I confronted her about this? Am I being too needy now?). She seems unemotional towards me. She seems like she doesn’t miss me, and doesn’t care when she sees me. She has told me that she thinks that we are getting married too young. She still wants to get married, but she has stated to me that she would’ve liked to live with me first before getting married. I am not sure what to do. I want her to talk to me more, and I want to feel the emotional attachment again. I want her miss me, I want her to want to talk to me. I realize these are things I can’t force her to do, but It is this normal for her to be acting this way giving all that has happened? What can I do? I feel very helpless. Please help.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for bringing your question to JustAnswer.

She's actually doing you a favor by suggesting holding off on getting married. The fact that she stayed in frequent telephone contact with the manager after kissing him means that you should be very sure she is ready to commit to being monogamous before you get married. It's also concerning that she's pulled back emotionally. It's possible she's having second thoughts about marrying so young.

The fact that she's already lied to you and betrayed you does not bode well for this being a committed relationship. You either need to move closer to rebuild the bonds, or pull away and she if she comes after you. The worst thing you can do now is give any hint of neediness. You need to put out the attitude that you're willing to walk away if she's not ready to commit. It really doesn't sound like she's ready, and this would be the way to find out.

Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience: LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
Suzanne and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Is it possible that this was just a hiccup and that everything is okay? We are fine when we are around each other. I spent last weekend with her and we did wedding planning and we were very happy. We also had a very candid conversation where we apologized to each other. I apologized for being needy, and she apologized for talking to him. It felt really good to talk to her in person openly about it. It's just when I am away from her, she distances herself and everything feels awful again.

Here are some of the things she said to me after talking last weekend:
"Wish we could've had a little more time alone this weekend"
"I'm sorry I'm freaking out about everything I'm just a skeptic"
"And I don't want a divorce or anything like that I'm just saying that at this point there is nothing good that will come out of calling the wedding off. And we can figure the rest out once we start living together. I mean we might as well give it a shot after all the time we have invested"

How am I supposed to feel about all of this?

Would it help to make more a commitment to her by eliminating the long distance part of our relationship before we get married?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I am waiting on a response. I would like an answer now and don't want to wait.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
Hi, You have relisted the question, which means you would like to get further help from a different expert. However, you have accepted the previous answer. The question, then, is if you want further help, which the experts would be glad to offer, but only if you are prepared to start over. And the other experts would expect that you would press ACCEPT for their answers if the answer is helpful. This would mean you would be paying again. I am a psychologist in private practice and would be glad to help here. But I would need to know what your intentions are. So please, before I ask you questions for you to further explain your situation and to give me a better understanding of what's going on for you, let me know. Okay?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I would like an answer from someone else given that my expert is not online anymore. I appreciate the help.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You have a lot of planning involved in this relationship. And I'm referring to emotional planning as much as wedding plans. You have a marriage planned, meaning you are expecting to devote your life efforts to this relationship.

This is a beautiful value. You are clearly a young man with values. And these values seem monogamous and based on the principles of loyalty in love and efforts put into the marriage. You expect to put ALL of your emotional efforts into your marriage and marriage partner. I respect your values and I believe they show you to be a young man of character.

And I think you hare hearing warning bells going off. And you don't know how to deal with them. Because they would put a kink into a tremendous amount of emotional investment you've put in. But the truth is that they are warning bells nevertheless.

Calling them a hiccup is a way to say they aren't real. And this type of wishful thinking is what people of values (men and women alike) typically do only in relationships. What do I mean?

If you were buying a used car and you called from Craig's List and the woman says that it's in perfect shape and at a great price, you'd say great. Then when you make plans to look at the car she says, well, it's got some paint a bit chipped. You slow down. You ask what else. She says, well, it's been in an accident--but just a fender bender. You say, okay. I think I get the picture. You realize you can't trust what she's telling you and you act appropriately.

Well, the lady from Craig's List may be pulling that on purpose or she may be that spacey. You don't know. But it doesn't matter does it? Because it's a matter of what can you expect? And either way you know you can't trust what to expect.

Your girlfriend is not pulling anything over you on purpose. That's not the warning bell. The warning bell is:

She's not ready to make a commitment of the first magnitude. She's unsteady. She's got someone who she's leaning on to steady herself FROM your exclusivity that you are about to impose on her.

I am so sorry you're going through this. You are ready but she's not. That's the warning bell in a nutshell. And I urge you not to ignore it. I've had couples in my office enough times to tell you that the small warning bells that get ignored don't prove to be nothing later on. They are indications of what's in a person's heart and what's not.

I can't make the decision for you, but I think you know that my experience is saying it's time for you to pull back and the two of you start over. Without pressure on her, she may be more able to recognize that she's not ready to be married. And you would be able to decide if it's time to move on or to date longer.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button because: even though you have made a deposit, I do not get paid for my time unless you press ACCEPT. Feel free to continue the discussion as my goal is to get you the best answer possible. You can continue the discussion even after pressing ACCEPT. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, ***** *****

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
That's not what I wanted to hear, but probably what I had to hear. Thank you.

How do I confront her about this without offending her? We've talked about calling the wedding off before, but she doesn't want to since we have already invested so much, financially, emotionally, etc. She has essentially forced me into this horrible waiting period, hoping when I see her things will get better, or when we are married.

How do I deal with her distancing herself? It's giving me tremendous anxiety. How can I feel better immediately? I have a feeling that things will only be better when something has been decided. The fact that I don't see her often is the worst part.

Another thing: She had a lot of people doubting her over the summer, telling her that she's too young to get married, and asking her why she was getting married. This most definitely had an effect on her. Do you think by eliminating the distance part of our relationship, we can rebuild our relationship? I just feel like we are happy when we are together.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 5 years ago.
You know, being influenced to doubt yourself by people telling you you're too young to carry out your plans is a pretty good sign you're too young to carry out your plans. And you're right, being together instead of long distance will give you a chance to get to know each other better. But you'll be starting from the weakest part of where you two are, not as if nothing has been revealed. That would be pretending again and ignoring the obvious warning bells.

As for the first part of what you write: there are some people who feel better about themselves if they don't make decisions that are tough. They'll do anything to avoid making the decision, hoping the other person will make the decision. They'll drop clues. They'll stall. They'll be passive aggressive. They'll do ANYTHING but say straight out what they have decided should happen. That's what it sounded like you were describing, though obviously not so extreme.

I wish you the very best, ***** *****